January 14, 2014 / 1:10 PM / in 5 years

Sainsbury only major UK grocer to keep market share at Xmas-Kantar

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - J Sainsbury was the only
grocer among Britain's "big four" to hold onto its market share
in the Christmas trading period, resisting pressure from
discounters and upmarket rivals, industry data showed on
Tuesday.
    The "big four", which includes market leader Tesco,
Wal-Mart's Asda and Morrisons, are being
squeezed between hard discounters Aldi and Lidl
 and upmarket players Waitrose and Marks &
Spencer.
    Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury, battling
Asda to be the UK's second-biggest grocer, grew sales by 3.1
percent in the 12 weeks to Jan. 5, outperforming overall grocery
market growth of 2.9 percent and maintaining its market share of
17.1 percent.
    Market leader Tesco saw sales rise 0.2 percent and its share
dip 0.8 percent to 29.6 percent.
    Asda's sales rose 0.8 percent, while Morrisons' fell 1
percent.
    Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose saw sales increase 29.4 percent,
17.5 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.
    Last week Sainsbury's posted a positive update for its third
quarter, while both Tesco and Morrisons revealed sales falls in
the Christmas period and saw annual profit expectations reduced.
   
    Also last week Aldi and Lidl said they had enjoyed record
Christmas trading, without disclosing figures, while Waitrose
and Marks & Spencer's food business reported positive figures.
  
    The Kantar data also showed Internet grocery sales over the
Christmas/New Year period grew 22 percent year-on-year with 15
percent of British households placing orders.
    It said grocery inflation was 2.5 percent for the 12 week
period, the lowest level since October 2012 which offers a small
respite for hard-pressed household budgets.

 Kantar Worldpanel - Market share (percent)
                  12 wks to     12 wks to     pct change
                  Jan 5, 2014   Jan 6, 2013   in sales
 Tesco            29.6          30.4          0.2
 Asda             17.1          17.5          0.8
 Sainsbury        17.1          17.1          3.1
 Morrison         11.5          12.0          -1.0
 Co-operative     6.1           6.2           0.4
 Waitrose         4.8           4.7           6.4
 Aldi             4.0           3.1           29.4
 Lidl             3.1           2.7           17.5
 Iceland          2.2           2.2           3.8
0 : 0
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